Sunfish Pickin Columbus GA "Hoops" and "YoYo"

signal charlie

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Found two Sunfish on Craigslist, a 1978 and 1992, gathered them up on the dual trailer. They need a little work, brought them home for further assessment.

1978 Sunfish "Hoops": Hull is in great shape but it was heavy, 40 pounds heavy it turns out. Several gallons of water drained out on site and another quart at the house. I'm putting in a port to dry it out for a few days, right now just one port and I'll see how the boat responds to a shop heater for 2-3 days. I'd like to avoid cutting two holes.

The sail is worn but useable, except the logo has faded and stained other parts of the sail. Also the old numbers would take forever to peel off and there is bright yellow sail material under the numbers. I have no idea if there is a way to clean the sail, so it will probably end up on Etsy for crafting, unless someone needs a really stained sail with someone else's sail number on it. But at least it's upside down...

One spar has a slight bend, but other spar and mast are in great shape. Rudder is split lengthwise but can be repaired. Daggerboard is a shade tree number, not stock.

1992 Sunfish "YoYo": yep, it's a Pearson. I crawled all over it and didn't find and problems around the cockpit, deck, flanges etc...it is light, has all the stock parts, a beautiful FX sail, straight spars and mast. Negatives are bottom paint? on the hull and a small chunk missing on the chine. Also has non skid around the cockpit which looks okay, colors match.

Off to the parts bin!

Kent
 

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signal charlie

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Hoops: boat weighs 170ish. Cut a hole for the inspection port, put it in the garage out of the weather and circulated some warm air through it for a few hours. More to come.

Replaced missing drain plug and mast cap.

YoYo: Used a diamond rasp to grind out old soggy fiberglass, the crushed area was not too large. In one picture you can see the darker, damaged, wet areas, those were also removed before blind patch. Made a blind patch from woven roving, cardboard and hanger, about one inch larger than the hole (make sure parch can slide into hole, in this case i had to fold it). Mixed up West System 105 epoxy resin, 205 Fast Hardener (outside air temp 60F) and saturated the patch. Then I thickened the epoxy with 406 filler, coated inside of hole and patch, inserted patch and pulled tight with hanger. Once that was in place I added some more peanut butter consistency epoxy to the patch.

Tips: 1. Tape around the area to keep epoxy from running onto goo gelcoat. I used clear tape and a piece of cardboard as a bib.
2. Set epoxy cup out in an open area until it is finished heating up and cooling off. It can get hot enought to start a fire if tossed into the trash while still reacting.

Day job is calling....
Kent
 

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signal charlie

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Hoops was full of water, 178 pounds, I decided to put in a port to circulate some air.....which let me see that the port bow flotation block was loose...and the bow handle backer block is floating around inside the hull, nowhere near the bow. I tried a fan/shop light contraption for a few days and the boat dropped 6-7 pounds, but the expanding foam is still a soggy mess.

So we split the hull, pulled out the expanding foam and dried out the flotation blocks. When I was splitting the hull I found 4 different areas where the seam was already split, ranging for 3-10 inch gaps. No wonder there is water in the hull! To split, I used xacto knife to get into seam, then a putty knife and hammer to tap down the seam and continue the split. Also put the boat on a cradle that supports the hull, and split only the deck/hull seam.

Ordered some 2 part marine grade foam from Fibreglast. Cleaned out the inside of the hull. Splashguard and bow handle had plastic anchors, which would let a lot of water in, so we'll fix those too.

Here are some picks of the backer blocks, mast tube and daggerboard trunk

Kent
 

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signal charlie

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Resetting the foam blocks in Hoops. Fibreglast makes a marine grade 2 part expanding foam, but you have to figure out how to get it in the right spots. I talked to Howie Picard, former Alcort Sunfish builder and warranty repair specialist, and he suggested putting two inch tape around the top of the block, pouring the foam then sliding the block into the boat. Clamp the seam, let it start to dry and mix another batch to pour the bottom. For the front blocks I added part of a paint stir stick, perpendicular to the block, to keep the block upright while foam expands. I also cut some small v grooves in the bottom so foam could flow from high side to low side.
 

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signal charlie

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Got YoYo rigged for sea trials, the Skipper tested out the small fiberglass repair on the starboard chine and new bailer. Also added a new sheet and halyard. After the sail we had a tiny amount of water in the hull, it might have been condensation from laying upside down on the grass overnight with inspection port open, or where the wire was clipped off that was used to pull the blind patch tight...or a couple of other chipped up areas...next time I'll remember to look inside the boat for water before the Skipper takes off...

Kent

PS After the sail I pushed wire ends in a bit and built up a layer of Marine Tex over the chine repair...y'all did notice the chine repair......?
 

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signal charlie

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Hi Andy
We thought naming them would help us keep track of them, turns out we ask ourselves "Now which one was Tilly/Eduardo/Pffft/Sassy...?" We'll never confuse "Merci" though :)

Kent
 

signal charlie

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Took out dried up and/or dry rotted backer blocks. Made new backer blocks out of cypress for one bridle eyestrap and the bow handle, installed with marine sealant and drying. For those considering an inspection port in the bow, there is about a 4 inch sweet spot between the back end of the backer block and the front end of the center bow foam block. You can lose some foam there and be just fine.

Clamping up the stern, used fiberglass strips saturated with West System 105 epoxy, 205 Fast Hardener and 406 Filler to fill any voids and bond the deck to the hull.
 

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#10
...gathered them up on the dual trailer.
Kent, that's a sharp double 'Fish trailer. Did you build it yourself? I keep brain-storming ideas to build a double trailer, but haven't started the process yet. Are your upper racks shaped at all - or just a straight bar with a pool noodle?

Thanks,
tag
 

signal charlie

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Kent, that's a sharp double 'Fish trailer. Did you build it yourself? I keep brain-storming ideas to build a double trailer, but haven't started the process yet. Are your upper racks shaped at all - or just a straight bar with a pool noodle?

Thanks,
tag
Hi tag

I put it together, started with a single jetski trailer for one of the larger skis, $400 on craigslist but the long Sunfish fit great. I like the heavier trailer because it doesn't bounce as much with one Sunfish. Then I went to my local trailer guy and I bought the parts to add two pair of STEEL "trailer guides" to the frame, and two aluminum crossbars. All of the guides, crossbars and hardware probably cost around another $200. My trailer guy made me buy steel guides, he said the aluminum guides would collapse. I have made road trips from Pensacola to Buffalo, Charlotte, Knoxville and Columbus and it rides great, don't even know it is there. One trip I hauled a wooden Sunfish hull on the bottom, wooden Sailfish on top and strapped a third sailfish underneath the crossbars.

We flip the top boat, so the top bar just has big pool noodles.

The only rig I have seen that I like better is a 6x8 utility trailer with a custom rack bolted inside of it. The rack would hold 5 boats, 3 stacked and one on each side resting on the chine. That is a lot of rack and trailer! What I liked was you could use the trailer for other multi sports, or remove the rack and have your utility trailer. What I didn't like was the cost was probably way more than my rig, and it would be a major pain to de-rig the trailer for other uses.

If you want to carry a combo of Sunfish/Kayak/canoe/Minifish and/or strap some bikes to the top/sides, go for a setup like we have. I have also used it to carry 16 foot tin roof panels :)

KB
 
#12
Very nice. I've carried 2 on 1 trailer before, but just made a very crude box frame out of 2x6 material - don't think it is a wise long-term solution. My $50 Super Porpoise was on top, 1960's Sunfish on the bottom.

 

signal charlie

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Very nice. I've carried 2 on 1 trailer before, but just made a very crude box frame out of 2x6 material - don't think it is a wise long-term solution. My $50 Super Porpoise was on top, 1960's Sunfish on the bottom.

Pretty simple, I bet it worked great. Drawback would be the extra weight on the bottom boat.
 

signal charlie

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The rudder for Hoops was split into two pieces, so I used some thickened West System epoxy to bond it back together. clamped it together and wandered off for about two weeks. Sanded the rudder with 120 grit and put on the first coat of Minwax Helmsman Spar Varnish. Nice looking piece of mahogany under all that crunchy stuff.
 

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#16
I was just about to start varnishing my rudder and daggerboard, and I was wondering what type of varnish to use. This post answers that. I see there are the options of satin, semi-gloss and high gloss finishes. Which would you suggest, and would a quart be enough for a daggerboard and rudder?
 

signal charlie

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Hi James
A prep note, if the current finish is in decent shape you may be able to scuff it with 220 grit and just add a few more coats of varnish. I usually have to sand off everything and end up with a few blotchy areas, in which case you may want to stain first to even out the finish.
Everyone has their favorite stain/varnish/thinner combo, so 1) buy local if you can pick something that is outdoor/marine compatible with UV protectors and 2) try to use same brand of stain/varnish/thinner. If you can't buy local check prices at Pensacola Boat Store against Amazon/Jamestown Distributors/Hamilton Marine etcccc...
Finish sheen is a matter of taste, I like the look of a satin patina, others want the deep high gloss multi coat look. I have never done more than 3 coats but have read if you plan a lot of coats, the last few coats will be thinned
A quart will be plenty, probably even the smaller can if you only plan 2-3 coats. If you run across Minwax Polyshades stain/varnish combo, we have liked that also.
To save money we use the cheapo "chip" brushes.

Have fun
K
 
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#18
The blotching is form not sanding enough to remove all of the original stain / varnish. Depends on vintage but original sanding was minimal on my '76. I sanded until smooth, not until all old finish was gone.

On thinning varnish, always best to error on the thin side and apply more coats with light sanding between coats. First coat, very thin 50%, progressively thicker to 25%. Depends a little on the varnish because it's not all created equal. If it's like honey, then more thinner. If you got to milk thin, then maybe too thin.

You can soak your hair brush in mineral spirits between coats instead of washing them out or throwing them away after each coat. Even the china chip brushes will hang in there.

I find that 50ml of varnish after thinning easily covers the rudder, board and tiller. So a quart will go a long way.

Cheers, Kevin.
 

signal charlie

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YoYo is heading out to a new owner, he wanted the boat so bad for the Memorial Day weekend he said he would finish the sanding the black paint off of the hull. I managed to get half of it off, and I hope they get through a nice sailing season then put it in the shop for the Winter. Everything else is ship shape, tied down and ready to roll to Alabama. We are going to rendezvous at a truck stop on I-65 and swap the boat for some cash :)

k
 

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